Tackle It Tuesday – Efficient Emailing

Tackle It Tuesday

If you’ve been hanging out here at Tackle It Tuesday for any length of time, you’ve likely heard Janice and I moaning about the time we spend tackling our inboxes.

We are constantly drowning in emails. And up until a few months ago, we had our virtual assistant Erica helping with emails, and we STILL were always behind. Now that Erica has moved on to a full time job elsewhere and we are trying to survive without her, our inboxes have become email death traps.

So, we are putting systems in place to make our emailing more efficient.

In a previous tackle, I shared how we started a new email organization system using Gmail labels based on suggestions from April Perry of www.PowerOfMoms.com.

Since then we’ve added several Gmail filters to automatically sort certain types of emails into the appropriate labels, often skipping the inbox entirely.

And today I used a little known feature from Gmail Labs to really speed up the time it takes us to reply to the common patterns of emails we receive.

Now, please try not to be thrown off by the name of this feature… it is Gmail Canned Responses.

Gmail Enable Canned Responses

I agree the name Canned Responses does sound like we’re not replying with sincerity, but the fact is we receive hundreds of emails daily and there are several patterns that repeat in our replies.

The common patterns appear in our replies to inquiries from Brands, PR representatives and other companies that want to advertise or be promoted in some way at 5 Minutes for Mom.

We end up often copy and pasting chunks of text from previous email replies but even if we save those snippets in text files, it’s not an efficient way of handling what really are email templates.

I figured Gmail must have a better way, so I searched and found — in Google Labs — Gmail Canned Responses.

So far in our main account I’ve set up four snippets of text that we often reuse when replying to PR requests. I plan to set up more responses as I see patterns repeat.

It’s very simple and I’ve recorded a short video to show you exactly how to set up Gmail Canned Responses for yourself to create and use simple email templates for your frequent email responses.

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What About You?

Have you ever used Gmail Canned Responses or any other Google Labs tools? What other systems do you use to speed up your email response time.

Mom Bloggers — what are you tackling this week?

Link up your Tackle it Tuesday post…

Tell us what you’re up to with all your other tackles… housework and otherwise… add your link to your tackle in the Linky below!

We are Tackling Our To-Do Lists Together and making housework bloggable — Each week on Tuesday, we are posting before and after pictures of a project or trouble area that we tackled this week.

Find out more about how Tackle It Tuesday began.
The project can be little or big – whatever you want.

Basically, Tackle It Tuesday is about giving ourselves incentive, deadlines and satisfaction in tackling all our tasks — whether household or otherwise.

If you tackled a project this week, just add a comment and add your link below.

Here is a fun thumbnail linky:

And here is a basic linky if you prefer your linkies the good old fashioned way!

Written by Susan Carraretto, co-founder of the Mom Blog 5 Minutes for Mom.
Talk with me: @5minutesformom and Facebook.com/5minutesformom.


  1. Nolie says

    I LOVE gmail and have all my accounts going to a central address. Canned responses is a HUGE timesaver and one of my favorite features.

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